How therapy can be helpful for relationships
Many people step into therapy questioning whether or not it will be helpful. My rule of thumb is that you won't know until you have given it a fair shot!
I personally believe that therapy is an extremely effective tool for helping people get through various struggles. As a therapist, I am not stuck in the middle of the storm, feeling every emotion or reacting to all the issues addressed. Instead, I get the chance to see the whole picture, without bias or subjectivity, whether I am helping an individual or a couple.
Some of the many issues that bring people into therapy are jealousy, infidelity, anger, addiction, and anxiety. These issues are merely a symptom of a larger problem. Counseling helps uncover the underlying issues and find new ways to cope. Most people grow up learning to use one or two coping techniques, such as bottling up emotions, or putting on a smiling mask and pretending everything is okay.
These coping behaviors are extremely helpful in our early years; however, these techniques are less effective in relationships. My job as a psychotherapist is to help my clients find more effective and successful tools to help the function in any environment. As a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), my job is also to ask questions, learn about my client’s experience, and then guide the conversation towards change.
I help my clients gain insight to the underlying issues in their life, while taking a non-judgmental, non-biased, and neutral opinion. As an MFT, I am also able to be very couples and relationship focused. I help couples focus on all aspects of their relationships, from the issues on the surface to how to rewire their emotional responses towards each other in a healthy way. I use emotionally focused therapy (EFT) to guide couples to a better relationship.
Does counseling work? Yes, for those who are willing to put in the effort and make change. It all depends on the process and your journey.
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653